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Churcher
2008-01-24, 10:46 PM
Hey guys, Long time Lurker, first time poster. (Don't Kill me!)

I've got a buddy at a LGS and we've had a bit of a disagreement. He believes that the Paladin class just outright sucks. No amount of tweaking will make them better. I believe otherwise, but my limited knowledge of the vast resources of Dungons and Dragons really hinders my argument. So, I turned to the next best thing...You guys!

Anything is open pretty much. I need pretty much incredible evidence to counter his argument. My knowledge is limited to mainly Living Greyhawk Open Access material, so you may have to explain things so I can get the point. I can use a build to show my evidence, prefering a 28 point buy, but dice rolling works just as well. So, let's win this for all the Lawful Goods out there!

Oh, one other note, this guy sticks with combat mostly, roleplaying means nothing to him. I keep telling him he plays Final Fantasy the Board Game. Wander around and fight that random encounter, skip that dialogue, fight that boss...etc. etc.

Nebo_
2008-01-24, 10:50 PM
You want to see a good Paladin 20 build? That might be a bit hard; they're not very good, you see.

That said, Paladins aren't all bad. They are very powerful at around level 1-8 with a charging mount and spirited charge. Generally, they are good for dips, but they stop getting useful class features after the mount (level 5).

Charles Phipps
2008-01-24, 11:08 PM
Tell him only Paladins get to wield Holy Avengers.

;-)

Gig_Complex
2008-01-24, 11:10 PM
Sorry mate but as Nebo says, after a certain point much like the fighter the Paladin is more or less useless. I am afraid I have to agree with your friend and if I ever get the itch to play a 'Holy Crusader' or similar Paladin theme I just write up a Melee based Cleric much better you see.

Jack Zander
2008-01-24, 11:10 PM
Show him a certain level 1 Paladin who can make a DC 25 Knowledge religion check.

SurlySeraph
2008-01-24, 11:12 PM
There are many, many paladin-oriented PrCs. Take your pally up to about level 5-8, then switch him into one or two of said PrCs for the rest of the build.

MandibleBones
2008-01-24, 11:17 PM
Actually, your friend is wrong, if only for this phrase:


No amount of tweaking will make them better.

I believe, if you browse this board, there's quite a few "Paladin fixes" which all make it better (my preference is for Fax's How-It-Should-Be, which isn't so much a fix as a rebuild, but still).

If you're looking for published works, try the 15-level Paladin PrC available in Unearthed Arcana and the SRD - add it to fighter and cleric, season to taste.

Speaking of PrCs, there's a boatload of "official" ones that all arguably improve the paladin after level 8 when it starts just stacking class features.

The Paladin is never going to be as brokenly awesome as the wizard or CoDzilla, but there's plenty of ways to make it better.

Most of the hatred of Paladins in gaming culture doesn't necessarily have anything to do with the class features and has more to do with the stern prerequisites for keeping those class features (and if following Rule 0 doesn't qualify as tweaking, your DM might not be right for you).

snoopy13a
2008-01-24, 11:30 PM
If you want to play a paladin then play a paladin. In the long run, does it really matter if they are overpowered/underpowered/etc? The point is to have fun not create the most powerful character. The exception being if you have fun by creating the most powerful character :smallbiggrin:

SilentNight
2008-01-24, 11:39 PM
Take monkey grip and dual-wield Sunblades. That's some pretty nasty damage.

Wordmiser
2008-01-24, 11:44 PM
Without the Spell Compendium, there is no reason for a character to take more than four levels in Paladin*.

...Unless you're cheesing the Mount out with Leadership or Halfling Outrider, in which case, there's no reason to take more than five levels in Paladin.

*And even then, you might as well take a PrC.

Falrin
2008-01-24, 11:47 PM
Silentnight, Are you serious?

Monkeygrip is the single worst feat in the game.

TWF is clearly underpowered to THW unless you have some kind of bonus damage (rogue?).

The best builds use a nice lance, power attack route and the pally' mount.

As noted there are some 'good' PrC around. (Justicar of Tyr if I recall correct.)

For a start:

http://forums.gleemax.com/showthread.php?t=858849 (http://forums.gleemax.com/showthread.php?t=858849)
http://forums.gleemax.com/showthread.php?t=75476 (http://forums.gleemax.com/showthread.php?t=75476)

Look for adviced PrC's Specific builds.

Leon
2008-01-24, 11:50 PM
If you want to play a paladin then play a paladin. In the long run, does it really matter if they are overpowered/underpowered/etc? The point is to have fun not create the most powerful character. The exception being if you have fun by creating the most powerful character :smallbiggrin:

Best Post in thread






Take monkey grip and dual-wield Sunblades. That's some pretty nasty damage.

You dont need monkey grip to duel wield them

Nebo_
2008-01-24, 11:52 PM
Take monkey grip and dual-wield Sunblades. That's some pretty nasty damage.


Silentnight, Are you serious?

Monkeygrip is the single worst feat in the game.


No, no, he's right. The damage is actually nasty. That is, it sucks.

SilentNight
2008-01-24, 11:55 PM
Silentnight, Are you serious?

Monkeygrip is the single worst feat in the game.

TWF is clearly underpowered to THW unless you have some kind of bonus damage (rogue?).

The best builds use a nice lance, power attack route and the pally' mount.

As noted there are some 'good' PrC around. (Justicar of Tyr if I recall correct.)

For a start:

http://forums.gleemax.com/showthread.php?t=858849 (http://forums.gleemax.com/showthread.php?t=858849)
http://forums.gleemax.com/showthread.php?t=75476 (http://forums.gleemax.com/showthread.php?t=75476)

Look for adviced PrC's Specific builds.

My bad, I'm not completely here right now. Didn't get a lot of sleep last night. All I remember is that I made a decent Paly who used two sunblades. I think the build was Ftr4/Pal12.

Chronos
2008-01-24, 11:56 PM
The paladin does actually have some good things going for it, that can be used to good effect.

1: Detect Evil at will. This might not be very significant for your friend's style of play, where "evil" is defined as "someone on the other end of my sword", but for all the rest of us, it can be very handy.

2: The general respect of the populace, if it's known that you're a paladin. Again, more useful in D&D than in Final Fantasy: The Board Game. Don't bother mentioning this one to him.

3: They get a mount. Yes, true, anybody can buy a warhorse. But the paladin gets a mount that won't die when anyone level 4 or higher looks cross-eyed at it. This means that the paladin can use the mounted combat feats, which are arguably the most powerful melee option available in the core rules.

4: Smite Evil. Most things that you're likely to be fighting (especially the ones powerful enough to worry about) are evil, and Smite gives you a hefty damage bonus against them. What's more, it's a static bonus, so it's subject to anything which multiplies damage (like, say, a lance and Spirited Charge).

5: Lay on Hands. It's a lot of healing, all at once, which is the best kind to have available in a fight. Granted, it's not as much as a Heal spell, but it's still pretty good.

6: Some spells. Again, not as much as a cleric, but a heck of a lot more than a fighter or barbarian gets. And some spells are paladin-only, and synergize well with the other class features.

Also remember that multiclassing is an option. With a caster, you hurt yourself badly if you take anything that doesn't advance your spell progression, but a paladin can dip into any full BAB class for good effect (so long as he takes the other class before or after paladin, and not during). A reasonable choice might be two or four levels of fighter, and all the rest in paladin.

Leon
2008-01-25, 12:06 AM
Sun Blade

This sword is the size of a bastard sword. However, a sun blade is wielded as if it were a short sword with respect to weight and ease of use. (In other words, the weapon appears to all viewers to be a bastard sword, and deals bastard sword damage, but the wielder feels and reacts as if the weapon were a short sword.) Any individual able to use either a bastard sword or a short sword with proficiency is proficient in the use of a sun blade. Likewise, Weapon Focus and Weapon Specialization in short sword and bastard sword apply equally, but the benefits of those feats do not stack.

No need for Monkey grip - just TWF

Eldmor
2008-01-25, 12:20 AM
Also, check with your DM to see if you can exchange the ability Turn Undead for a different Divine feat. That way you get use out of your turn attempts all of the time; not just when undead is on the menu.

Solo
2008-01-25, 12:31 AM
I wonder if you can combine the Ubercharger build with a Paladin?

ubercharging on a horse, with lance.

Voyager_I
2008-01-25, 12:48 AM
No need for Monkey grip - just TWF

Still, an overall three-step increase in damage die (1 over a Longsword and 2 over a Shortsword) isn't really that exciting after a few levels...

Behold_the_Void
2008-01-25, 12:53 AM
I wonder if you can combine the Ubercharger build with a Paladin?

ubercharging on a horse, with lance.

As I recall, paladin is a popular choice for an ubercharger. Especially a small paladin so it can fit in dungeons with a medium-sized mount.

The Extinguisher
2008-01-25, 12:53 AM
So basically, Paladins suck compared to magic using classes, or when you power game the heck out of things.

Other than things that are broken, they're pretty good.

Counterspin
2008-01-25, 01:22 AM
Yes, they suck compared to the other classes, including that paragon of power fighter. We'll just ignore, what four of the classes in the players handbook, throw on fighter, five, and then he's king of the hill!

Chronicled
2008-01-25, 01:26 AM
If damage is all that your friend cares about, a tweaked-out paladin using the Cavalier PrC from CW, and the Divine Might feat (also CW; use a turn undead attempt for Cha bonus to damage), with a lance, on a griffon (which can also attack), while Smiting Evil, can do a LOT of damage on a charge. A LOT (while flying, too). Then add in the Rhino's Rush spell, etc, etc. It'd be pretty easy to make a build that would change your friend's mind.

Still not as good as a CoDzilla, but not much is. There also isn't nearly as much versatility as a full caster gets.

Out of curiosity, what does your friend enjoy playing/think is the strongest class around?

Miles Invictus
2008-01-25, 01:43 AM
Paladins are front-loaded with lots of neat abilities, but there's no compelling reason to stay in the class after 5th level or so.

Nerd-o-rama
2008-01-25, 01:51 AM
Paladins can be good with a lot of supplemental material.

They make wonderful chargers with things like Leap Attack (feat, CAdv), Rhino's Rush (spell, SC), and either Charging Smite (Alt. Class Feature, PHB2) or a Mount and the Cavalier (PrC, CWar).

Paladins do not suck. They just need some boosts, and fill a rather limited niche. Even in core, they're good damage-dealers as long as you're fighting Evil. On par with Fighters (who have more feats and less damage) and Rangers (who have more skills and less damage), at least.

And of course, there's the challenge and joy of roleplaying someone with an inherent sense of nobility and honor, but that just cramps most peoples' style, and can be done by any class. Paladins are just forced to.

Tokiko Mima
2008-01-25, 01:52 AM
I think the best way to see what's wrong with Paladin, and what can be done to fix it is to look at OneWinged4ngel and Seerow's excellent Paladin Rebalance (http://forums.gleemax.com/showthread.php?t=761045). The core Paladin is a great class for the first five levels, but there's little reason to take it any further. But it's not a completely unfixable thing, as you can see. :smallcool:

Saph
2008-01-25, 07:42 AM
Paladins really aren't bad, assuming you've got some access to different books.

Charger paladins, as several people have pointed out, are quite lethal. Use some combination of Power Attack, Rhino's Rush, Shock Trooper, Spirited Charge, a lance, or one of the other charge-boosters out there, and you can do obscene amounts of damage to pretty much anything you can hit. If a mount isn't an option, you can use the PHB II Charging Smite variant.

If you want to play a single-class Paladin, the Battle Blessing feat from Complete Champion also makes them pretty effective self-buffers.

However, I've got the feeling that Living Greyhawk is mostly Core-only, which really nerfs them. A mounted combat build is probably your best bet. Oh, and they're lots of fun for roleplaying purposes, but I'm guessing your friend isn't going to listen to that part, right? :P

- Saph

Tengu
2008-01-25, 07:53 AM
And of course, there's the challenge and joy of roleplaying someone with an inherent sense of nobility and honor, but that just cramps most peoples' style, and can be done by any class. Paladins are just forced to.

I don't think if being a spineless anti-hero from a world of black and gray morality (here would be a TV Tropes link but due to the database accident some time ago that trope disappeared) can count as a style. I thought most people grow out of it when they grow up themselves.

Duke of URL
2008-01-25, 08:14 AM
5: Lay on Hands. It's a lot of healing, all at once, which is the best kind to have available in a fight. Granted, it's not as much as a Heal spell, but it's still pretty good.

It can also lay some heavy damage on the undead as a touch attack.

Telonius
2008-01-25, 09:12 AM
A nice side benefit of Paladin: they are a natural Party Face. Charisma fuels some of their abilities, and Diplomacy is a class skill. Focusing on the social elements takes one more skill off of the Skillmonkey's back. You wouldn't be able to get that with a Fighter, Barbarian, or Ranger.

The flip side of that is that a Paladin is more MAD than the other full-BAB classes. He needs STR and CON just as much as they do, but he actually has to have a decent CHA score. WIS has to be moderately good, too, or no spellcasting. INT and DEX are usually the dump stats.

Miraqariftsky
2008-01-25, 10:19 AM
5: Lay on Hands. It's a lot of healing, all at once, which is the best kind to have available in a fight. Granted, it's not as much as a Heal spell, but it's still pretty good.

Also remember that multiclassing is an option. With a caster, you hurt yourself badly if you take anything that doesn't advance your spell progression, but a paladin can dip into any full BAB class for good effect (so long as he takes the other class before or after paladin, and not during). A reasonable choice might be two or four levels of fighter, and all the rest in paladin.

Yep, Lay on Hands. Lay 'em on a lot. I say it's even better than Heal because ye don't have to roll for it. Sure, ye don't get as much potential healing out of it, but at least yer sure of that healing and ye don't have to trust to the dice's randomness.

Let's see about the feat build, eh?

Human
Fighter levels 1-4: (1) Power Attack, Cleave, WF (usually greatsword, longsword or lance) (2-4) Mounted Combat, Ride-by Attack, Spirited Charge
Paladin levels 5-onwards: (6) Extra Smite ...

and sorry, I don't know any more feats there. Truth be told, I'm just a novice but mayhap some of the veterans can continue the build above?

Mark Hall
2008-01-25, 10:32 AM
As others have said, Paladins do well with prestige classes. A pure martial prestige class (or even a couple level dip into fighter) can add options to your combat. Something less magical can give you other options, like the Shining Blade of Heironeous or Warpriest, expanding you in the direction you want.

As said, you won't be tossing CoDzilla around like he's a muppet, but you can have something other than a 1D10 HP, +1 BAB, and 2 skill points at a level.

Miles Invictus
2008-01-25, 10:33 AM
Heal (http://www.d20srd.org/srd/spells/heal.htm) doesn't require rolling.

You could replace the Mounted Combat stuff with the Shock Trooper/Leap Attack stuff, and take the Charging Smite variant from PHB2.

Really, though, there's no reason to take more than five levels of Paladin. As-is, it's better designed as a prestige class, like they did with the Blackguard.

Zain_Thorngallow
2008-01-25, 10:47 AM
Heal (http://www.d20srd.org/srd/spells/heal.htm) doesn't require rolling.


Yes, it does. It is a very easy-to-make Touch Attack, but there is still a roll involved.



Heal
Conjuration (Healing)
Level: Clr 6, Drd 7, Healing 6
Components: V, S
Casting Time: 1 standard action
Range: Touch
Target: Creature touched
Duration: Instantaneous
Saving Throw: Will negates (harmless)
Spell Resistance: Yes (harmless)



Much like Harm, there is also the saving throw, which can reduce damage when being cast on Undead.

Lay on Hands also requires the touch attack, but has *no save*, which rocks.

Depending on DM interpretation, since there is a touch attack involved, you might also be allowed to perform a Smite along with the Lay on Hands... make it a Charging Smite, and you have a good (Paladin Level * (Charisma +3)) damage dished out. Which can be pretty darned sweet. :smallbiggrin:

Miles Invictus
2008-01-25, 11:23 AM
Yes, it does. It is a very easy-to-make Touch Attack, but there is still a roll involved.

No, it does not. It's clear from the context that we were discussing "variable, numeric effects (http://www.d20srd.org/srd/feats.htm#empowerSpell)" rather than attack rolls or saving throws. More importantly, you don't need to make a touch attack to use Heal on an ally, which is what Nexus and I were talking about.


Yep, Lay on Hands. Lay 'em on a lot. I say it's even better than Heal because ye don't have to roll for it. Sure, ye don't get as much potential healing out of it, but at least yer sure of that healing and ye don't have to trust to the dice's randomness.


Heal (http://www.d20srd.org/srd/spells/heal.htm) doesn't require rolling.

Person_Man
2008-01-25, 12:04 PM
Here's a quick take on my standard Paladin.

Strongheart Halfling Paladin 20

Just being a Paladin gives you high Saves, some nifty immunities, and respectable healing/offense. If your DM allows variants, be a Paladin of Freedom, so that you're immune to Compulsion Effects (ie, most of the Enchantment School).

Take Mounted Combat, Ride by Attack, and Spirited Charge. Use a lance two handed from the back of your mount. Now you have a huge damage output.

Take Leadership or the Dragon Cohort feat. Now your Mount is almost as powerful as most PCs.

Take Sword of the Arcane Order from Champions of Valor. Now you can memorize Wizard spells. Instant Gish.

Take Battle Blessing from Complete Champion. Now you can cast your Paladin spells as a Swift Action. This lets you buff and attack the same round. Remember that you can Share Spells with your mount, which is probably a medium dragon.

To finish off your feat selection, take a look at Complete Divine and Complete Champion. There are plenty of uber feats that are fueled by Turn Undead uses, which you have.

And you also have great social Diplomacy, and Sense Motive, making you a good party face.

Powerful Offense. High Defense. Flight. Versatility. No need to spend time before combat buffing yourself. If you're dying for Skills, make your first level Ranger or Rogue and take Able Learner. I won't argue that its as powerful as a fully optimized full caster. But seriously, what else could a player want in a non-full caster build?

ChaosDefender24
2008-01-25, 12:07 PM
Well, they are a very nice two-level dip in any build that finds itself with high Charisma.

Roderick_BR
2008-01-25, 12:30 PM
Yeah, making a paladin is hard. Since he's a primary meeler, he has less options in combat, although he gains a few good stuff.
So, good options for paladins:
Power Attack/two-handed weapon cheese, preferably with Shock Trooper and trips, to make him somewhat useful in combat.
Battle Ardor feat (complete champion, I think), allows you to quicken ALL your paladin spells (except anything that takes more than 1 round to cast).
Awesome Smite (complete champion, complete divine, or book of exalted deeds), gives you special abilities when using Power Attack (like completely negating the miss chance from Blink effects).
If you often find yourself in ares big enough to hide a mount, buy some good armor for your special mount, and several mounted combat feats, if not, use the charging smite variant from player's 2 (your smite damage will be x3 instead of just your level when you charge)
Since you won't use turn undead as often, but will have a lot, consider some divine feats. Or those divine metamagic feats that can be fueled by turn undeads.
An interesting trick: Try to get a cleric to create a wand of Divine Favor at with an high level. Since this spell is in your spell list, you can use the wand without UMD, and if it's made by a cleric, it can be made with a very high level (a paladin's caster level is only half his class level).

A good PrC is the Fist of Raziel, that adds lots of Smite-based abilities: http://www.wizards.com/default.asp?x=dnd/iw/20031012a It's in Book of Exalted Deeds.

Frosty
2008-01-25, 12:38 PM
A paladin is good if he gets Battle Blessing, Extra Turning, and levels in Ruby Knight Vindicator. He can cast all buffs in round one *and* charge.

Miles Invictus
2008-01-25, 12:43 PM
Just being a Paladin gives you high Saves, some nifty immunities, and respectable healing/offense.

With the exception of Fortitude, Paladin saves aren't particularly impressive. A 20th-level Paladin needs 16s in both Wisdom and Charisma just to match your average spellcaster's base Will save. Admittedly, you should have the gear to meet this goal by 20th level, but the point is your Will save is between 4 and 6 points lower than a similarly item-laden spellcaster, and probably 6 to 10 points lower than a Wisdom-based caster.

It's not bad, but it's nothing exceptional -- nothing like a Cleric or Druid who not only gets a good Will save but has a reason to pump Wisdom over everything else.

Saph
2008-01-25, 01:12 PM
If you're going to compare every class to a Cleric or Druid, then pretty much none of them are going to satisfy you. Clerics and Druids are notoriously overpowered.

Anyway, a Paladin has a worse Will save than a Cleric, but a better Fort and Reflex, so this is actually one area where they can claim to be better. In fact, compared to just about any single-classed character, a mid-level Paladin will have at least two out of three saves better, before counting buffs and equipment. So it's not really accurate to say that their saves 'aren't particularly impressive'.

- Saph

Frosty
2008-01-25, 01:14 PM
I like the defensive abilities of a Paladin. They're good and all. It's his offense that I find lacking short of going the mounted-charge route.

Miles Invictus
2008-01-25, 02:47 PM
If you're going to compare every class to a Cleric or Druid, then pretty much none of them are going to satisfy you. Clerics and Druids are notoriously overpowered.

I agree that they're overpowered, but here the comparison to Paladins is valid. I'm demonstrating a Will save that is truly exceptional, and how the Paladin compares to it.



Anyway, a Paladin has a worse Will save than a Cleric, but a better Fort and Reflex, so this is actually one area where they can claim to be better. In fact, compared to just about any single-classed character, a mid-level Paladin will have at least two out of three saves better, before counting buffs and equipment. So it's not really accurate to say that their saves 'aren't particularly impressive'.


A Paladin will, yes, probably have one of the best Fortitude saves, because he has a Good progression, another reason to invest in Constitution, and can bolster his save with Charisma. It'll probably be 2 to 4 points ahead of the Cleric, who has the same progression, less reason to invest in Con, and no secondary bonus effect. I'm not sure if I'd call the Paladin's Fort save exceptional, though -- he has to spread his points around Strength, Constitution, Wisdom, and Charisma. The Barbarian and Fighter would be better examples; the Fighter only needs to focus on two stats, while the Barbarian can use Rage to boost his Con score.

A Paladin will have a mediocre Reflex save, because he has a Poor progression and little reason to invest in Dexterity. Compare to a Rogue or Archery-style Ranger, who have a Good progression and at least a Dexterity of 16. Even after Charisma, the Paladin comes out behind.

A Paladin will have a respectable-but-not-exceptional Will save, because he has a Poor progression and a reason to put a few points into Wisdom. Thanks to Charisma, your average Paladin will have a Will save on par with someone who has a Good progression and a 10 in Wisdom. This is good, but it's not mind-blowingly good.

To summarize:
Good save progression + Reason to pump relevant ability score = Exceptional save (ex: Cleric's Will save, Rogue's Reflex save, Fighter's Fortitude save)
Good save progression = Good save (ex: Wizard's Will save, Fighter's Fortitude save)
Poor save progression + Reason to invest a few points in relevant ability + External bonus = Good save (ex: Paladin's Will save)
Poor save progression + Reason to invest a few points in relevant ability = Mediocre save (ex: Ranger's Will save)
Poor save progression + External bonus = Mediocre save (Paladin's Reflex save)
Poor save progression = Poor save (ex: Fighter's Will save)

Saph
2008-01-25, 03:07 PM
A Paladin will have a mediocre Reflex save, because he has a Poor progression and little reason to invest in Dexterity. Compare to a Rogue or Archery-style Ranger, who have a Good progression and at least a Dexterity of 16. Even after Charisma, the Paladin comes out behind.

That's because archery-focused Rangers and Rogues have the best Reflex saves in the game! You're comparing each one of the Paladin's saves against the absolute best possible rival. Of course they're not going to look that great by comparison.

And the Paladin's Fort save really should be better than either the Fighter or Barbarian's. Assuming 28 point buy, they'll probably have something like:

Pally: 16 cha, 14 con, 14 str, 12/10/8 in other stats
Fighter/Barb: 16 str, 14 con, 14/12/10/8 in other stats

At level 1, the Paladin has a Fort save of +7. The Fighter has a Fort save of +4, and the Barbarian also has a Fort save of +4, or +6 for the 7 rounds/day that he's in Rage. Paladin comes out ahead.

- Saph

SadisticFishing
2008-01-25, 03:11 PM
People seriously underrate the paladin. Charging Smite + Rhino's Rush + Power Attack = ridiculous amounts of damage.

I mean, it's a melee class, not a spellcaster, oh no, but it's a solid class if you build it right.

Saph
2008-01-25, 03:38 PM
Look, I'm bored and have nothing to do right now, so I'll do the maths on it.

We'll take level 6 as a baseline, since that's a good average for where most people play. Beyond that, numbers become too equipment- and buff-dependent anyway. 28 point buy. Fighter, Wizard, Rogue, Cleric, Paladin. We'll say each character has a +1 resistance item and a +2 ability booster for their respective key stat (Fighter: Strength, Wizard: Intelligence, Rogue: Dexterity, Cleric: Wisdom, Paladin: Charisma).

Starting stats, in order:

Fighter: Str 16 Dex 13 Con 14 Int 13 Wis 10 Cha 8
Wizard: Str 8 Dex 14 Con 14 Int 18 Wis 10 Cha 8
Rogue: Str 10 Dex 16 Con 14 Int 14 Wis 10 Cha 10
Cleric: Str 14 Dex 10 Con 14 Int 10 Wis 16 Cha 10
Paladin: Str 14 Dex 10 Con 14 Int 8 Wis 12 Cha 16

So at 6th-level, their saves will be:

Fighter: Fortitude +8, Reflex +4, Will +3. Sum: +15.
Wizard: Fortitude +5, Reflex +5 Will +6. Sum: +16.
Rogue: Fortitude +5, Reflex +10, Will +3. Sum: +18.
Cleric: Fortitude +8, Reflex +3, Will +10. Sum: +21.
Paladin: Fortitude +12, Reflex +7, Will +8. Sum: +27.

So the paladin's actually even better than I thought. Even compared to the cleric powerhouse, the pally has better saves, and even his Will save doesn't trail the cleric by much. And compared to the Fighter, the Paladin's total save bonuses almost double his.

Conclusion: Around levels 1-6, Paladins actually have the best saves in the game. Even Clerics and Druids trail them. The only base class that can match their saves is the Monk.

- Saph

Chronos
2008-01-25, 04:32 PM
Paladins are front-loaded with lots of neat abilities, but there's no compelling reason to stay in the class after 5th level or so.Yes and no... He gets most of his abilities early on, but some of his most important features (smite, Lay on Hands, the mount) depend on level. So, sure, at second level you've got Smite Evil, but you don't have the +20 Smite Evil you'll eventually get if you stay in the class. Of course, some prestige classes will also progress some of these abilities, which makes those PrCs very appealing.

Frosty
2008-01-25, 04:46 PM
The most important features really are Divine Health and Divine Grace and Detect Evil at will. Lay on Hands is just gravy. Also, the Aura is nice, especially if you are a Paladin of Freedom. +4 vs compulsions is a lot better than +4 vs Fear.

Zain_Thorngallow
2008-01-25, 06:47 PM
Yes and no... He gets most of his abilities early on, but some of his most important features (smite, Lay on Hands, the mount) depend on level. So, sure, at second level you've got Smite Evil, but you don't have the +20 Smite Evil you'll eventually get if you stay in the class.


Very true. The Paladin perks such as Divine Grace & Health are really front loaded, but the Smites and Lay on Hands start as pretty negligible features that really come into their own further on.

It should also be noted that while the Paladin's limited casting is, well... limited, obviously... it does eventually gain many of the most important party support spells of the game:

- Death Ward
- Lesser Restoration & Restoration (Heck, even *Druids* don't get Restoration)
- Protection From Evil & Magic Circle of Protection from Evil

Coupled with some nice offensive buffs like Holy Sword or Bless Weapon, they have some very nice casting options mid-to-late game that a Fighter, Barbarian, or even a Ranger (who's spell list is, frankly, shockingly bad in my view) just can not bring to the field.

Fawsto
2008-01-25, 08:14 PM
My group and I have this theory:

Paladins like Rangers are always nice to have around in any given level. They always do well. Never outsdandingly, never worse than average. They are solid classes.

I am even confused by where to start pointing the good parts...

1) Detect Evil: This class feature is very eficient when you learn to use it properly. It can save your ass. Last RPG session I had. Me and fellows entered a small cave in search of a medium sized black dragon. We entered the cave and we saw nothing. Everybody couldn't see where the Dragon was. So I proceeded on Detect Evil. I concentrated for 2 rounds. Enought to find that the Dragon was up climbing the western wall preparing to score a acid line on us.

2) Smite Evil: This CF gets better over time. By lvl 20, an unmodified Pally will deal + 20 hitpoints damage to a evil creature. A Charging smite will deal + 60 points of damage.

3) Aura of Courage: Ok, frightful presence? Pff... Fear magic? Lame... Evil Samurais from ComWar? Even worse class against the Pally.

4) Divine Health: Bye bye to all those diseases that can take you out. Specialy useful with BoEF (ok, just kiding, that book is crap :smallfrown: )

5) Divine Grace: This beauty grants the Paladin the ability to have ALL good saves. Ok, not that, I admit. But it allways helps to increase your save by an ammount that will increase even more when you put your hands on a + 8 charisma item.

6) Lay on Hands: Extra Hitpoints? I can use that.

7) Special Mount or Charging Smite: The mount will be something to be feared if you concentrate all your efforts on her, since you can get magical beasts, dire creatures and even dragons as mounts. The charging smite is useful in more ocasions, and it also makes a nice mounted Paladin. Spirited charge + Charging smite? I calculated it... It could slay and adult dragon in one hit when crited with a Lance.

8) Spells: Ow the poor paladin spells have no use... Bull****. Give your pally Battle Blessing from Comp Champion and he can buff himself as swift actions. Also as stated before, they have reliable spells later on.

9) Turn Undeads: 2 words "Divine Feats". That's all you need. Divine Shield works like no other feat in combination with Shield Specialization and Shield Ward. Divine Vigor, +2 hp per level (not Paladin level, character level) + 10 feet move bonus. There are few other bonuses that can help you out there. Divine Might also can help, but it is better to have Nightsticks (from Libris Mortis) in hand or spend a feat in Extra Turning.

10) The Paladin's capstone class feature: Holy Avengers. The most overpowered swords not cheesed by splatbooks and the ELH. They are simply sweet to have.

Also Remove disease is a good saver for those less vigorous party members. I believe that should be turn into a spell, so the Paladin's could receive a useful class feature instead.


Also, Paladins are dip friendly to those who can deal with the Code. They can boost any build defenses and work very well with the Kensai PrC from Comp War (due to the easy max of the Concentration skill), the Fist of Raziel from Exalted Deeds (if you go Pal10/FoR10 you will get 7 smites per day and a free magic circle against evil spell) and other nice PrCs. They also help with Crusader Builds. Or Even better, dip a few Crusader levels in you Pally build so you can even go to melee with full strenght. They also go well with Warblades and the Diamond Mind school (again, easy maxing concentration).

You only need to be clever to have a powerful Paladin at hand. And it is also quite nice to roleplay a Paladin.

Paladin 20 vs Fighter 20? I am staying with the Paladin.

Frosty
2008-01-25, 08:18 PM
Unless the Fighter is Evil, I'm going to go with the Fighter actually. Paladins are too feat starved to do *all* of that. You need mount feats, charging feats, divine feats, and not to mention other general feats that any character might want.

Voyager_I
2008-01-25, 08:27 PM
Of course, with 2 skill points per level and MAD, simply scraping together enough skill points to be decent at Concentration, Diplomacy, and Ride becomes an issue...and good luck getting anything that isn't entirely essential...

Wordmiser
2008-01-25, 08:30 PM
Unless the Fighter is Evil, I'm going to go with the Fighter actually. This is iffy: a PHB Pally trumps a PHB Fighter any day, but outside of core, it'll probably be pretty even. Given all the shiny Divine Feats, Mount boosters, spells and general melee feats, the Paladin probably keeps up pretty well with the Fighter (probably the one class which benefits most from codex creep).

But I definitely prefer the Fighter because the Paladin is loaded wih so many mechanics that I despise (the focus on alignment, an at will divination, a limited range Aura, the mount who lives on a different plane, X/day damage boosts, 1/week garbage abilities, the multiclass restriction and the fact that it's not a Prestige class).

Mark Hall
2008-01-25, 08:47 PM
I'll point out, again, that Paladins can't actually detect if Joe Schmoe on the street is evil or not... they need someone with the Evil Aura class feature, or who happens to be supernaturally evil.

Miles Invictus
2008-01-25, 08:49 PM
That's because archery-focused Rangers and Rogues have the best Reflex saves in the game! You're comparing each one of the Paladin's saves against the absolute best possible rival. Of course they're not going to look that great by comparison.

That's the point! While the Charisma bonus is very helpful, it doesn't make for exceptional saves.



And the Paladin's Fort save really should be better than either the Fighter or Barbarian's. Assuming 28 point buy, they'll probably have something like:

Pally: 16 cha, 14 con, 14 str, 12/10/8 in other stats
Fighter/Barb: 16 str, 14 con, 14/12/10/8 in other stats

At level 1, the Paladin has a Fort save of +7. The Fighter has a Fort save of +4, and the Barbarian also has a Fort save of +4, or +6 for the 7 rounds/day that he's in Rage. Paladin comes out ahead.

- Saph

I would've built the Paladin and Fighter differently, but even with my build the Paladin manages to tie the Fighter. So I'll admit that Paladins really do have a kick-ass Fortitude save, while pointing out that it's because they have a good progression and can get away with putting lots of points into Con.



Fighter: Fortitude +8, Reflex +4, Will +3. Sum: +15.
Wizard: Fortitude +5, Reflex +5 Will +6. Sum: +16.
Rogue: Fortitude +5, Reflex +10, Will +3. Sum: +18.
Cleric: Fortitude +8, Reflex +3, Will +10. Sum: +21.
Paladin: Fortitude +12, Reflex +7, Will +8. Sum: +27.


This demonstrates my point, actually: the Paladin has good saves, but they aren't mind-blowingly good (conceding Fortitude, of course).

Theli
2008-01-25, 08:54 PM
I'll point out, again, that Paladins can't actually detect if Joe Schmoe on the street is evil or not... they need someone with the Evil Aura class feature, or who happens to be supernaturally evil.

Are you sure about that?

That's certainly an interesting reading of the rules. Is there anything that makes this explicit distinction or clarifies it in some way?

From a very basic reading, it seems that any creature with an evil alignment would register with at least a faint aura for Detect Evil.

Chronos
2008-01-25, 09:14 PM
I'll point out, again, that Paladins can't actually detect if Joe Schmoe on the street is evil or not... they need someone with the Evil Aura class feature, or who happens to be supernaturally evil.Not true. Joe Schmoe, a level 1 commoner, is in the category "evil creature (not undead or outsider) with 10 or fewer HD" (http://www.d20srd.org/srd/spells/detectEvil.htm), and therefore has a faint evil aura. The Evil Aura class feature doesn't give the class an evil aura, it just makes it stronger.

Interestingly, the Detect Evil spell does not say anything about how evil someone is, only about how powerful they are. So a first-level aristocrat who bathes in virgins' blood every night will show up as "less evil" than a 20th-level ghost (who may not even actually be evil at all).

Mark Hall
2008-01-25, 09:14 PM
Are you sure about that?

That's certainly an interesting reading of the rules. Is there anything that makes this explicit distinction or clarifies it in some way?

From a very basic reading, it seems that any creature with an evil alignment would register with at least a faint aura for Detect Evil.

I believe I was misreading the word "creature". Had my head in a different set of rules.

Worira
2008-01-25, 09:15 PM
EDIT: never mind.

Saph
2008-01-26, 05:54 AM
This demonstrates my point, actually: the Paladin has good saves, but they aren't mind-blowingly good (conceding Fortitude, of course).

Sorry, but I really don't understand what you're trying to prove anymore. This business of 'not exceptional' or 'not mind-blowing' seems extremely subjective, and I don't know where you're getting it from. The level 6 cleric might have an 'exceptional' Will save, and the level 6 rogue an 'exceptional' Reflex save, but the Paladin's overall saves are better than either, and that's what counts.

- Saph

Daimbert
2008-01-26, 07:45 AM
This demonstrates my point, actually: the Paladin has good saves, but they aren't mind-blowingly good (conceding Fortitude, of course).

But, unlike any of the other classes in the table, they're good across the board. There's no obvious weakness, unlike the other classes. If you want to take out rogues or fighters, force them to make Will rolls. Clerics? Reflex. Wizards? Well, almost anything (at that level, anyway). And even for rogues and fighters you can target Fortitude or Reflex (respectively). For a paladin, no matter what you throw at them they have a decent chance of making the saving roll, limiting any attacks based on a specific type of saving throw.

That's REALLY nice, especially since it doesn't leave holes that have to be patched up with buffs, spells, or items.

Is this kind of what you meant by liking the saves of paladins, Saph?

#Raptor
2008-01-26, 09:49 AM
Taking the serenity feat reduces some of the paladins MAD.
It lets you use WIS instead of CHA for divine grace, lay on hands, smite evil, and turn undead.
http://realmshelps.dandello.net/cgi-bin/feats.pl?Serenity,

So now you can focus on wisdom and dump charisma. Especially nice for Half-orc and Dwarf paladins.

Unfortunately it doesn't mention the turn-undead fueled feats, such as Divine Shield & Divine Might, wich are charisma based... but I guess it'd be reasonable to assume/houserule that serenity would change those to wisdom based.


Btw - question to the dm's here: Would you rule that divine shield works with a Animated shield (http://www.dandwiki.com/wiki/SRD:Animated)?

Bonus question, interesting to those of us that would like to build paladins with a couple levels in fighter: Would a Animated Towershield's user still get the –2 penalty on attack rolls?

Starbuck_II
2008-01-26, 11:08 AM
Bonus question, interesting to those of us that would like to build paladins with a couple levels in fighter: Would a Animated Towershield's user still get the 2 penalty on attack rolls?

Tower should still have penalty. It has all usual penalties (arcane spell failure, etc).

Which is weird...you aren't even using the shield with hands when animated...why is ASF still there?

the_tick_rules
2008-01-26, 11:13 AM
you forget on this board only 9th level spell casters are worth anything, and only specific ones at that.

Person_Man
2008-01-26, 12:20 PM
With the exception of Fortitude, Paladin saves aren't particularly impressive. A 20th-level Paladin needs 16s in both Wisdom and Charisma just to match your average spellcaster's base Will save. Admittedly, you should have the gear to meet this goal by 20th level, but the point is your Will save is between 4 and 6 points lower than a similarly item-laden spellcaster, and probably 6 to 10 points lower than a Wisdom-based caster.

It's not bad, but it's nothing exceptional -- nothing like a Cleric or Druid who not only gets a good Will save but has a reason to pump Wisdom over everything else.

I can't speak to your games, but in my groups 20th level characters have stats in the mid to high 20's in their primary stats by using standard wealth buy level to by +6ish items, bonus stat points from levels, and an occasional buff spells. So a high level Paladin is likely to have really good Saves. And Saph has elegantly shown that even a low and mid level Paladin is better off then most any other standard class as well in many cases.


Of course, with 2 skill points per level and MAD, simply scraping together enough skill points to be decent at Concentration, Diplomacy, and Ride becomes an issue...and good luck getting anything that isn't entirely essential...

Well, MAD is definitely an issue, but not as bad as most people make it out to be.

A Paladin wants high Str, but he can get by with Str of 14ish, and use Smite Evil when he really has to be sure to hit something. He can also ask a friend to cast Greater Invisibility on him. He can pick up Sword of the Arcane Order to get access to Wraithstrike and/or Spectral Weapon. And he can use a mounted build, Smite Evil, and Divine Might to boost damage without screwing with hit To-Hit like a standard Power Attack build. A few extra points of To Hit or Damage are not that huge once you get to mid levels, since you'll be able to make it up in so many other ways.

Dex 10 is fine. Wear the heaviest armor you can and use an animated shield.

Everybody wants the highest possible Con.

Int of 14 should be enough to cover Ride, Diplomacy, Sense Motive, and Concentration. You can get by with 12 if you're careful about where you cast, or get by with 10 if you have another face in your party.

Wis can start at 10. By high levels they need it to be 14 so that they can cast all of their spells. But minor stat bonuses can be gained via levels or a variety of affordable items. A Paladin will only be casting buff spells, so there's no need to invest in this past that point.

Cha should really be their highest stat. Or they can pick up Serenity and shift their Paladin powers to Wis, though doing so means he shouldn't take Frightful Presence, Divine Might, other Cha based feats a Paladin would traditionally take.

So yes, Paladins have MAD. But 4 of their 6 stats can be 14 or lower with no huge down side. He really only needs high Con and Cha.

Rince
2008-01-26, 01:13 PM
Ok, since everyone is going to knock paladins, I'm going to show why paladins are great at 20th (and really any level if you just play them smart).

20th lvl Paladin build: Human

1st lvl feats: Mounted Combat, Power Attack (or Power Attack, Improved Bull Rush)
3rd lvl Feat: Improved Bull Rush (or Mounted Combat)
5th lvl Class feature replacement: Charging Smite replaces Mount
6th lvl Feat: Shock Trooper (CWar)
9th lvl Feat: Ride-by Attack
12th lvl Feat: Spirited Charge
15th lvl Feat: Leap Attack
18th lvl Feat: (Player's choice)

By 5th lvl the paladin should be able to afford to BUY a Pegasus for his/her mount (3,000 gp for a young Pegasus, 1,000 for training for war riding) and this gives him/her a mount with a fly speed of 120 ft. Granted, the Pegasus is pretty weak but at this point s/he isn't really ready to be a full on mounted nightmare, so assume its just around for transport. The Charging smite allows the paladin to keep up reasonable damage with the rest of the party, which is further improved with the addition of Shock trooper's Heedless Charge benefit.

At level 15 have a charge capable of dealing 3 X (Paladin level X 9) (without the damage from the lance).

Now I know what some of you are thinking, "But wait, you can't use Leap Attack with a mounted charge!" My reply is thus, point to me where it says you cant. Its a DC 15 to get your mount to jump. The jump check on the mount's part isn't altogether to difficult either, DC 10. Bam, you just Leaped on your mount.

Other criticism might include, "But its a 4 HD creature your riding, a wizard could blow you out of the sky with a strong fart!" Sure, he could, but there are solutions to that as well. By lvl 16 you should be able to afford an item that grants a continual Anti-Magic Field, (10ft radius, Market cost according to DMG table 7-33 pg 285 is 198,000 gp) that encases you and your mount in a nice safe blanket protection field, Now you don't have to worry about any spells short of Wall of Force, Prismatic Sphere, and Prismatic Wall. Yes, all deadly spells, but by level 20 you've got yourself enough extra gold to afford that wonderfully under priced Holy Avenger, which while inside the AMField is kinda moot, if you do happen to get encased in a Shaped Wall of Force or Prismatic Wall or Prismatic Sphere you can simply deactivate your AMF item, dispel the pesky magic impeding your movement and reactivate the AMF once it's gone. Repeat this as necessary until your spell casting foe runs out of spells. Then skewer him in one hit.

Thanks to AMF generator, you don't need much magical equipment, and even if you did have magic gear it wouldn't really do you much good, as your powerhouse of damage comes from feats.

So to recap: Mounted Paladin with proper feat selection can make DM's cry.
That same Paladin is also a frighteningly effective ground opponent.

EDIT: ARG for Jump not being a paladin class skill, I'm too lazy to rewrite all the text but with the change I made to feats the end result is still the same. It requires a bit of a play style change but after 15th it all works out the same. Yes, this does kind of bog my argument down, but honestly why is it that jump isn't a class skill for Pallys? Its Boggling my mind.

Person_Man
2008-01-26, 02:08 PM
Ok, since everyone is going to knock paladins, I'm going to show why paladins are great at 20th (and really any level if you just play them smart).

20th lvl Paladin build: Human

1st lvl feats: Mounted Combat, Power Attack (or Power Attack, Improved Bull Rush)
3rd lvl Feat: Improved Bull Rush (or Mounted Combat)
5th lvl Class feature replacement: Charging Smite replaces Mount
6th lvl Feat: Shock Trooper (CWar)
9th lvl Feat: Ride-by Attack
12th lvl Feat: Spirited Charge
15th lvl Feat: Leap Attack
18th lvl Feat: (Player's choice)


Leap Attack can't be used if you're mounted. It specifically requires that you make a Jump check. You can't make a Jump check if you're mounted unless you want to Jump off your mount, in which case you don't gain the benefits of being mounted.

Frosty
2008-01-26, 04:17 PM
I personally houserule it to say Leap Attack works when mounted, but I don't understand why you'd want to encase yourself in an AMF all the time. Your magical items woul be useless. And, with your/your mounts less than stellar touch AC, just *one* Orb spell will completely destroy your tactic. Orbs are not affected by AMF.

Not that your build is particularly bad or anything, but a Fighter can do better, becausehe can buy a pegasus as well (assuming a DM will even let you find/buy a pegasus), take the same feats, and have lots of feats left over.

The Fighter has less saves you say? Well guess what...Divine Grace, and the vast majority of Paladin abilities are Supernatural. That means they shut down in an AMF.

Captain van der Decken
2008-01-26, 04:20 PM
You could, conceivably, jump off your mount onto your mount, if it's running the right direction.

Chronos
2008-01-26, 04:54 PM
And, with your/your mounts less than stellar touch AC, just *one* Orb spell will completely destroy your tactic.Make that two orb spells, in the same round. Remember Mounted Combat, to negate one hit per round (the DC should be fairly easy). But yes, in an antimagic field, the fighter is much better off than the paladin.

ErrantX
2008-01-26, 05:54 PM
I figured I'd just throw a fix/rebuild I made for the paladin class a while back at you all, in case anyone's interested in it.

http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showpost.php?p=3577584&postcount=4

-X

Fax Celestis
2008-01-26, 06:01 PM
I believe, if you browse this board, there's quite a few "Paladin fixes" which all make it better (my preference is for Fax's How-It-Should-Be, which isn't so much a fix as a rebuild, but still).

Thats here, if you're interested.

Voyager_I
2008-01-26, 06:01 PM
I was wondering if there was any real reason to play a Paladin over a Fighter if you were going to immediately deny yourself most of your class features...

Miles Invictus
2008-01-26, 06:39 PM
Sorry, but I really don't understand what you're trying to prove anymore. This business of 'not exceptional' or 'not mind-blowing' seems extremely subjective, and I don't know where you're getting it from.

Well...yeah, it is pretty subjective, and I've done a poor job of explaining where I'm coming from. I look at the Paladin as a Fighter that gets some neat bonuses for high Wisdom and Charisma, rather than as a Charisma-centric melee class. This means less Charisma and lower saves as a result.

I'll admit, I probably have this mindset because I don't have access to any of the splatbooks that make high-Charisma Paladins good.

Saph
2008-01-26, 07:11 PM
Fair enough. I generally take the attitude that if I want my Strength to be my primary stat, I should be playing a Barbarian or Fighter in the first place, so I build Paladins with Cha first and Str and Con tied for second.

- Saph

Fawsto
2008-01-27, 10:38 PM
As said by Saph, I am also fond of Con and Str for second stats.

Paladins are simply, for some reason, a better class than the fighter. They are not out there to outdamage the fighter or the barbarian, they are there to be able to do several party functions well and be impervious to hindering class that can fight for longer and harder against save spammers.

Want a Pally that can go toe to toe with the fighter? Here I introduce you the Martial Paladin from Complete Champion, named Holy Warrior. This removes MADness and Gives the Pally enough bonus feats to cover a very Badass charger, diviner or mounted combatent, they won't just cast anything. They would be fighters with decent class features. This is good if you don't care to lose magic.

Also, Battle Blessings, I'd say a must for 12 lvls or more Paladins. It is one of the nicest feats I've ever read.

The Extra Feats are given at lvl 4, 8, 11 and 14. I'd still stick to the Magic in a ideal scenario where I can land a 12 in Wis while still covering other important atribs. But whenever I see a place where I will have to spend item slots for casting, I'd use it. Extra turnings and extra divine manouvers FTW.

Keld Denar
2008-01-28, 09:56 AM
A paladin is good if he gets Battle Blessing, Extra Turning, and levels in Ruby Knight Vindicator. He can cast all buffs in round one *and* charge.

Hey, that was my idea! j/k, I'm probably not the first to dream it up, nor the last.

Take a look over at the LG boards on the wizards site for paladin builds legal for Living Greyhawk. I've seen a few very successful paladins in my day. One of the most effective I've seen was something like Paladin4/Sorc4/Spellsword1/EK6. Ends up with 5th level sorc spells and 13/15 BAB. The trick then is to use your 2nd level spells for Power Attack + Divine Might + Arcane Strike Whirling Blades on a 2handed weapon. This tactic becomes available as a whole by level 8, or in pieces as soon as 5-6. It doesn't need the highest level earthshatting spells since most spell slots go to using Whirling Blade. Focus on Cha>Con>Str>else as stats. Biggest weakness ends up being reflex save, but that's seldom the end of the world.

28 point buy: Str 15 Dex 10 Con 14 Int 10 Wis 8 Cha 16
Human
1 Paladin 1 Power Attack, Weapon Focus
2 Paladin 2
3 Sorc 1 Practiced Spellcaster
4 Sorc 2 +1 str
5 Sorc 3
6 Sorc 4 Arcane Strike
7 Paladin 3
8 Paladin 4 +1 cha
9 Spellsword 1 Divine Might
10 EK 1 Improved Initiative
12 EK 2 Mobile Spellcasting +1 cha
13 EK 3
14 EK 4
15 EK 5 Minor Shapeshift

There, that's a pretty straightforward LG legal Whirling Blader build. Mobile Spellcasting allows the paladin to take a double move and still cast a spell, allowing him to line up shots with Whirling Blade. Minor Shapeshift + Trollshape known means the paladin has a pool of 14 temp hp that he can refresh every round as a swift action. Final cha including +6 cloak is 24, for a +7 bonus to all saves and damage with Divine Might (10x/day). Final str is 22 with a +6 belt for +6 hit/+9 damage with a 2hander. Final weapon would probably be a +1 Holy Vicious greatsword.

With a +5 GMW, +4 Bard Song, Haste(Boots) and Recitation up, Whirling Blade AB will be +35, 40 if he Arcane Strikes a 5th level spell. Damage without PA will be 2d6+9+7+5+4+4d6 +5d4 for average 46 to all creature in a line. At full PA, he'll have an AB of +27 and deal an additional 26 damage (average 72). If he could get a Lesser Rod of Quicken, he could double this.

If he wanted to full attack, he could use the combo of familiar + Quickened (va Rod)Benign Transposition. His attacks would be +40/+40/+35/+30 for similar damage above, or +27/+27/+22/+17 at full PA.

Also, 1x/day, character can smite a Whirling Blade for an extra +7 hit and +4 damage to a single target. Makes full PAing more comfortable.

Note, this build works great in the Living Greyhawk campaign, which has a rather limited availability of additional material. Some things like Leap Attack and Wraithstrike and Lion Totem Barbarians are banned.

Miles Invictus
2008-01-28, 01:11 PM
Fair enough. I generally take the attitude that if I want my Strength to be my primary stat, I should be playing a Barbarian or Fighter in the first place, so I build Paladins with Cha first and Str and Con tied for second.

- Saph

The Paladin's early class features are a lot nicer than the Fighter's early bonus feats. If it fits your character concept, you're better off taking a few levels of Paladin over a few levels of Fighter.

I'll admit, the Charisma-focused Paladin is a lot better than I initially thought.

Fawsto
2008-01-29, 01:40 AM
You just need to know how to play them. :smallbiggrin: I am telling you, once you get the hang of using Pallys all you'll get is fun.

Well, this apply for almost any class and PrCs. Except for the Monk :smalltongue:

(Just Kidin)

Turcano
2008-01-29, 03:22 AM
The Paladin's single biggest obstacle is not its combat ability, but the code of conduct. At best, a paladin is slightly inconvenienced by the code; at worst, the class is rendered unplayable. Unlike most of the Paladin crunch, the severity of this restraint is determined by the people you play with. Some DMs have absolutely retarded definitions of what constitutes an evil act or acting without honor and/or a perverse desire to put paladin characters in no-win situations. Your other players also have a good deal of power over the class' viability as well due to the association clause.

In short, if your DM and co-players are cooperative, paladins are pretty good for a melee class.

tyckspoon
2008-01-29, 04:43 AM
The Paladin's single biggest obstacle is not its combat ability...

In short, if your DM and co-players are cooperative, paladins are pretty good for a melee class.

Although I largely agree, I feel it should be pointed out that having a group that doesn't want to screw Paladins for being Paladins doesn't excuse the Paladin's shortcomings. 1 smite/day still sucks as a special ability, and it's the only
the Paladin gets to improve his melee ability at low levels. Even Wizards, those eternal examples of quick-to-tire low level classes, can use their per-day restricted ability more often than the Paladin.. that is, assuming an Int 11 Wizard, while a theoretical possibility, doesn't actually exist.

Frosty
2008-01-29, 05:15 AM
Turn Smites into per encounter instead of per day, and give them more spell slots (but not faste rspell progression) and it'll go a long way. Also, get rid of Remove Disease x/week. Replace it bonus beats or something.

Signmaker
2008-02-02, 10:35 PM
Turn Smites into per encounter instead of per day, and give them more spell slots (but not faste rspell progression) and it'll go a long way. Also, get rid of Remove Disease x/week. Replace it bonus beats or something.

But see, then I wouldn't have saved the party rogue from getting slimed by an Aboleth in the middle of a dungeon...

Miles Invictus
2008-02-03, 01:41 AM
...and that's why Paladins should get Remove Disease as a spell, instead of as a weekly class feature. Actually, it'd be okay as a per-day ability.

As an aside, I'm of the notion that things like Lay on Hands, Remove Disease, Smite, Turning, should be different utilizations of the same feature. Think spell points with a few very specific applications. Maybe allow them each one free daily use, too.

Renegade Paladin
2008-02-03, 03:09 AM
Monkeygrip is the single worst feat in the game.
No, it's not. Not even close. That distinctive honor goes to Weapon Specialization (net).

:smallbiggrin:

Zincorium
2008-02-03, 03:17 AM
No, it's not. Not even close. That distinctive honor goes to Weapon Specialization (net).

:smallbiggrin:

That is indeed a waste of a feat (barring it's use as a prerequisite, for say, improved weapon focus or the like), however, monkey grip can actually make certain characters worse.

And at least weapon specialization (net) doesn't get used incorrectly 9 times out of 10. Which is mostly just because it doesn't get used 10 times to begin with, but my point still stands :smallbiggrin: .

Sstoopidtallkid
2008-02-03, 10:30 AM
No, it's not. Not even close. That distinctive honor goes to Weapon Specialization (net).

:smallbiggrin:Toughness.

Renegade Paladin
2008-02-03, 10:43 AM
Toughness.
Toughness actually does something. Weapon Spec (net) adds +2 to damage rolls on a weapon that doesn't make damage rolls; it does literally nothing.

Signmaker
2008-02-03, 02:14 PM
...and that's why Paladins should get Remove Disease as a spell, instead of as a weekly class feature. Actually, it'd be okay as a per-day ability.

As an aside, I'm of the notion that things like Lay on Hands, Remove Disease, Smite, Turning, should be different utilizations of the same feature. Think spell points with a few very specific applications. Maybe allow them each one free daily use, too.

I'll agree with that: Per Week for a minor ability is just pathetic. How would a paladin save a diseased town in the middle of nowhere if he's so restricted?

"Excuse me, I'll have to wait a week to save the next person!"

Not quite so heroic.

Miles Invictus
2008-02-03, 04:26 PM
What's more, Clerics and Druids can do it once per day and a level earlier.

Draz74
2008-02-04, 12:30 AM
That distinctive honor goes to Weapon Specialization (net).

At least it's a prerequisite for Weapon Supremacy (net). :smallwink:

Chronos
2008-02-04, 01:46 AM
How quickly we forget about Skill Focus (Speak Language).

Fawsto
2008-02-04, 11:00 AM
But yet sometimes DMs would never understand why Paladins should have smites per encouter. It actualy happens to me.